Brand Identity : 4 – Promotional Flyers & Postcards

10-300x225With all the hype of online marketing and social media these days, it’s easy to overlook some of the simple tried-and-true offline marketing methods that have worked in the past and still work today.

Flyers can work really well at spreading the work about your event or attracting new customers – as long as they are done the right way. As far as advertising goes, printed promotions are not out – it’s just that bad flyers were never in. And those are unfortunately what we see the most.

10 Great flyers can be more effective than 1,000 bad ones, so if you’re going to spend the time and money on printing up leaflets or brochures – why not invest in one that bring you customers and make you money?

The first thing you should think about when creating a flyer for your business is ‘Who are you?’. You want the customer to feel that you know what you are talking about. Don’t ask too many questions about what the customer requires. As the person offering the service, you should already know and be convinced of what they want as a client. If you ask too many questions it will become clear to the customer that you are out of touch.

Don’t blind potential customers with text. Whilst it’s good to let them know, you know what you are talking about, people don’t like to be force fed large bodies of text. Especially when it has been pushed through their letter box. You want to say what you are offering customers in as few words as possible. Remember people don’t like to be preached at.

Tell the customers what is important, and what sets you apart from your competition. What is your unique selling point? You need to think about this carefully as it could make or break you.

Who are you aiming your leaflet at? Is it a product aimed at the masses or the lucky few? Is your advertising aimed at home owners or businesses? Design appropriately. Don’t try and please everyone or your advert with become vague and unspecific.

Offers. Offers are amazingly powerful as a marketing tool. People will often buy things because they believe they are getting a special rate when they wouldn’t normally buy the product in the first place. Two for one and half price are classic examples.

Reward returning customers. Clients love it. It builds up customer loyalty along with giving you good reviews through word of mouth.

Check out the competition. Look at your competition’s flyers, learn from them and try to improve on them if possible

If you want to look professional, however much it pains you to do it, find a professional graphic designer to give your leaflet that magic touch. Graphic designers are trained to deliver the best results and can see things you haven’t been trained to see. They know all the tricks of the trade.

If you are set on designing a flyer yourself below are tips on how to design a small business promotional flyer:

  • Promotional flyers are an inexpensive form of advertising: Small businesses don’t have a large advertising budget. Promotional flyers are a great way to get your message out or promote a special deal without breaking the bank.
  • Promotional flyers extend your brand: Be careful to avoid looking cheesy in your flyers. Do have them look clean and professional with clear branding of your company. Have a nice logo, colors, the right tagline and fonts that represent your company. Avoid looking like the pressure cleaner that leaves flyers all over your front door. You know who you are.
  • Consider guerrilla marketing techniques: Leaving flyers on the windshield of a car is not the ideal way to employ a guerrilla marketing technique. Heading out to a busy plaza dressed as a fluff monkey, giving children an opportunity to run completely wild towards you, is a good example (assuming kids and parents are your target audience, of course). Additionally, guerrilla marketing will become more valuable over time because it’s a great way to capture attention, and as the U.S. Postal Service decides to cut back on the number of days for delivery.
  • Use quality digital photography: Put down the Polaroid, and slowly back away. Good photography can make so much of a difference. This is not the area you want to be cheap.
  • What kind of stock: If you have the budget try to put your promotional flyer on a stock that’s going to impress. Use glossy for high-end customers and a nice, heavy stock for standard commercial customers.
  • Find illustrations that support your message: People look at pictures and illustrations so much more than they read what you say. Find a way to deliver your message through an illustration.

Pitfalls To Avoid

The computer is not creative. Only the operator using it.
Now you’ve got the basic rules let me point out the pitfalls to avoid:

  • Fold a piece of paper in half then half again. Open it. Draw 4 roughs of how you want your flyer to look. Do it quickly, these are not finished bits of art, hence the name ‘roughs’. These will give you ideas for layout. Choose the best of the four. Look at what you can improve. Perhaps draw it with a little bit more care and talent. Now take this rough to your computer and use it as a guideline when doing your flyer on your Desktop Publishing package or Word Processor. Too many people lose track of what their objective is, and that’s probably because they don’t know what it is.
  • Don’t use your business name at the top of the flyer. Save it for last (or second last). Whatever is the last thing they read will be the thing that stays in their mind, whether consciously or subliminally.
  • Use a big bold font for the headline. Perhaps you have the fonts Impact or Arial Black already on your system. These are known as sans serifs (sans = without) they don’t have the curly bits on the ends of the letters. Or you may choose to use a decorative font (a style that you’d never uses for a body of text) but make sure it’s still readable and doesn’t take away from the message.
  • For the main body of copy use Times New Roman. This is a serif style font. It has the curly bits at the end. I once had a guy show me his self (mutilated) produced flyer. I suggested he change the font so people might actually be able to read it. Times Roman works for me but he said everybody uses it. Trust me, Times New Roman isn’t about to wear out. It isn’t a fad, it isn’t a trend that’s about to go out of style. Alternately you may choose to use Arial. It’s clean and crisp. It descended from the Helvetica typeface and it’s been around almost as long as Times Roman.
  • Set your font size no smaller than 10 points and no bigger than 14. The human eye is able to read anything between these sizes with ease and speed (unless of course your market is the vision impaired).

What To Know About Artwork

Color
Certain colors do not reproduce in black and white and are unsuitable to supply as art. Generally, dark colors will result in a black image and pale colors will reproduce as a white image. Therefore, a dark color on a dark background will photograph as a solid black area. A pale color on a pale background will not produce an image at all.

Some examples of these color combinations are:

  • Black on Red will be a solid black area
  • Gold on Black will become a solid black
  • Yellow on White will not produce an image
  • Pale to Middle Blue will not produce an image
  • Green and Silver generally reproduce as a ‘dirty’ grey

Other Considerations

Here are some things to think about…
Don’t flog your inkjet printer within an inch of its life. If you’re not going to get a printing company to run off a thousand copies then use a photocopier. Some places charge as little as 5 cents a copy. And if you’ve ever licked something printed on an inkjet (well okay, just wet your finger and try it) you’ll see it smudge. So if you’re sticking these flyers under windscreen wipers or in letter boxes the owner will find a runny mess of black ink if it rains.

What color should the paper be? Black on white works for me. Don’t go out and buy a ream of pink paper just to be different. If you want to be different take some time and research colors and come up with the right ones for your corporate identity.

Size Does Matter. A4 is good if you’re sticking it up on a notice board but if it’s intended to be handed out or (as mentioned above) sticking under windscreen wipers and stuffed in letterboxes then go A5 or A6. That also means a reduction in cost. Cut your photocopied flyers into halves or quarters. But please, use a guillotine. Nothing looks worse than a cut edge that is hacked or skewed. Presentation is important.